Linux Blog

Things I can do before Windows Boots

Filed under: General Linux — at 8:38 am on Monday, June 28, 2010

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones that gets to use Linux at work. The kicker is, I need Windows to do part of my work so I have two machines. After a recent power outage, I needed to boot both machines this morning. So, I thought I’d document what I did before Windows booted.

  1. Turned both machines on
  2. Cleaned 3 coffee mugs and came back
  3. Talked to my boss about the power outage
  4. Logged into my Linux machine
  5. Started all the software I thought I might need for the day (Pidgin, Thunderbird, Firefox, Eclipse, Tilda and screen)
  6. Checked my e-mail
  7. Approved some comments on this blog
  8. Wrote this blog post.

On that note, my Windows machine is about booted and I can load up the Word documents that were inconveniently sent to me in .docx format. What a Monday Morning.

Random Man Pages:


Comment by Ryan A.

June 28, 2010 @ 9:12 am

Sounds like someone’s got a case of the Mondays.

Comment by -Pablo-

June 28, 2010 @ 10:10 am

Question that comes to mind is: why didn’t you upload it to Google Docs (or even the newer Microsoft alternative) if you didn’t like how it was rendered in OO.o?? I usually do that. And even tho I have a Windows rig around, I didn’t even bother installing Ms Office there.

Comment by wiseless

June 28, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

Man, I know, in my case, that Ubuntu 10.4 boots quite fast, but what version of windows you run? Vista?
My windows 7 install boots in no more than twice the time my Ubuntu install do. :)
Now, that .docx cr*p is really painful. :D

Comment by Barnabyh

June 28, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

My XP Pro machine at work takes almost exactly 15 mins to the login screen every morning, what a waste of time.
When I complain to the ‘helpdesk’ clueless ‘IT guys’ there keep telling me, that “oh well, it’s got a lot of stuff to load in the background”. And these are relatively new machines. Since when does it take 15 mins. to load up Anti-virus and run some scripts over the network.
Or perhaps they think I’m clueless that I would actually buy their standard response. At home my Slackware box boots in less than a minute, Zenwalk 20secs. Thanks for the short post, do not feel so alone now :)

Comment by

June 29, 2010 @ 9:15 am

@Ryan A – I got a case of the “every morning that I have to boot Windows”.

@Pablo – I would / could have uploaded it to Google Docs if it wasn’t a work document that is in another document repository

@WISELESS – Its Windows XP, but the problem is the Novell, login scripts and anti-virus.

@BARNABYH – My Linux box is next to my Windows one, so luckily I have something to do while I wait. Otherwise I’d have to do paper work.

Comment by Martin Baselier

June 29, 2010 @ 10:27 am

You can open .docx with openoffice. :)

Comment by Willem Voogd

June 30, 2010 @ 10:09 am

My vanilla xp virtualbox image loads in about 15 seconds, it’s the first thing i start when i logged into my linuxbox at work… (As a webdev, i need to experience the IE-quircks first hand)

I have to say, my dell optiplex 745 workstation used to boot windows up-to the login screen in about 20 seconds, after login another 15-20 seconds, but i could work within the minute, with the nod32 virus suite fully up. I wonder what 15 minutes will load. I can only imagine the HD is full, leaving almost no room for a virtual memory file and the HD being highly fragmented… maybe it has not enough RAM so it needs to swap during loading it’s system processes, which is a real turndown of course…

that said, my asus laptop with the low-end kingston SSD, boots in about 5 seconds to ubuntu 10.04 :)

My RIM blackberry will boot in about 1 minute after it’s drained, or decides to reboot because a usb cable was plugged in (seriously)



Comment by EricP

June 30, 2010 @ 10:25 am

I recently purchased a small 30 Gig SD drive mounting my /home directory on a 500 Gig drive, and installed Ubuntu 10.04 it takes from 5 to 8 seconds to Boot and it is ready to start browsing.
Never going back.
The windows box is just an old server with Win 2003 srv loaded and I access it via RDP it is scheduled to reboot every morning at 4 AM just to give me plenty of time to be productive.
Linux + SD drives = SPEEEED

Comment by nbensa

June 30, 2010 @ 11:07 am

@Barnabyh: I love Linux (and my Macbook Pro) but if your Windows install _REALLY_ needs 15mins to boot up, then there’s something wrong with your machine. If it boots from its local harddrive and the profile is also local, something is wrong with your HD. If it netboot, then something is wrong in the middle (cabling, switches, servers, etc.) There’s no way in this universe, Windows XP can take 15 MINUTES to bootup (unless your box is a i386 25MHz with 128MB RAM)

Comment by Jeremy

June 30, 2010 @ 11:39 am

@ryan A

No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you’d get your ass kicked sayin’ something like that, man. lol

Comment by Larry Wade

June 30, 2010 @ 11:54 am

Anyone that waits more than about five minutes for a cold Windows XP boot from power on should think about changing jobs. Your internal IT department is causing every one at your company a lot of wasted time and probably causes tension between departments. I have loaded every version of Windows from version 1 through 7. The only time I have every seen ridiculous start times like these mentioned was when I was contracting for the old PacBell. Running Windows for Workgroups, they had autoexec.bat and config.sys files which were ten pages each. Total waste of time and effort. These systems could not be troubleshot, only replaced. No one was allowed to change these files. And no one could remember why any of these settings were there in the first place.

Too many “IT kids” load systems just like they would a home system. No thought is given to optimization for what a business system needs to do on a daily basis. Just open the box and put it on the user’s desk. But you get what you pay for. Hire one experienced PC system person and have an entire company with finely tuned, easy to maintain machines, or get a couple of kids for next to nothing, who take a preloaded system and tell the users that it’s all they can expect.

All the preloaded crapware is probably still there. Useless promotional software and drivers cluttering up the OS. Memory and CPU cycle eaters like java and Adobe update applications. Quick load Office and multimedia applications staying resident in memory. Novell? Why? Not much gained using it over the Windows network now a days. And especially not at the cost. And the Novell server is just a Linux machine with an Active Directory aware sharing and rights management schema.

Fire your IT people and get responsible, experienced computer people and the entire company runs so much smoother.

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June 30, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

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Comment by bjr

June 30, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

A Windows VM boots in a few seconds. There is no reason to run native Windows except for games. KVM has the advantage of being built into Linux so it’s easy to maintain, VMware Player’s is harder to install but it has the advantage of easy migration of your existing Windows system, all you have to do is run VMware’s converter on the Windows box and it will create a virtual clone which you can run under Player.

Comment by Eric

June 30, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

Dude you so need to get Cross Over office. I use it on my Linux system, and can run MS Office 2007 without issue. Open Office also can open most MS Office formatted files without too many errors or bad formatting as well.

Comment by Shannon VanWagner

June 30, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

Ha ha ha… Classic. Thanks, what an awesome post.

I’m lucky enough to run GNU+Linux and be using both exchange and Google Apps at work. As for windows, if I really need it – I boot it up from VirtualBox. This way seems to be fast enough… not better than my Ubuntu GNU+Linux machine by any means though.

Luckily I don’t have to deal with .docx very often, but if I did I could either open it with, or I could upload it to my company Google docs account.

Maybe Chrome Linux will help change things even more. We can only hope.

Shannon VanWagner

Comment by Riplin

June 30, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

Get Lotus Symphony 3 (beta) for Linux, it reads xlsx and docx fine.

Comment by

June 30, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

@Martin Baselier – I can, but they don’t render properly. Also, since these are going into a DMS I want to ensure compatibility with the folks that insist on using .docx in the first place.

@Willem Voogd – Nice boot times. I have a 755 dell. Ram is not the problem.

@EricP – I’d love SSD’s for this machine, but we have no budget. That, and I don’t have the liberty to modify hardware. Personally I might give it a shot for home use.

@nbensa – I should film it. I doubt its 15 minutes, but its a *long* time to boot. The profile is not local. There seem to be no problems once the machine is up.

Comment by PKD

June 30, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

Had a similar morning today with my OpenSUSE laptop. Hit 25 mounts and had to scan. Had time to smoke two cigs and run to the store.

Comment by

July 1, 2010 @ 8:35 am

@PKD – I feel you. It sucks when that happens. But at least its every 25 mounts rather than every day.

Comment by DL

July 6, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

Interesting morning. I’ve been considering taking the time to optimize my boot time on my company laptop. Considering I turn it on and then walk off to get coffee, I always am able to find something better to do instead of optimize it (god I’m lazy).

Wow!! Fifteen minutes!

Comment by Ian

July 8, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

It’s called a virtual machine. I know what you are talking about, but seriously…THE SOLUTION: get virtual-box, install windows 7 in it, install word on that, and you will never need to leave your Linux box again. Using multiple desktops, you will essentially have two computers sitting inside the same screen. It’s magical. It even works for [some] games!

Comment by

July 9, 2010 @ 9:15 am

I appreciate all the comments regarding virtual machines, I my self am a huge fan of VM’s and have been running them for years. Perhaps I wasn’t very clear when I wrote this post. I’m lucky to have a Linux box at work, most people don’t have the opportunity. The catch is that I have to have a Windows machine. Some people get to use Macs, problem is, they are also old and crappy.

Comment by Richard Arthur

July 10, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

Are the people using Macs old and crappy because they use Macs, or given Macs because they are already old and crappy employees?

Comment by Alex

July 19, 2010 @ 11:51 am

# Started all the software I thought I might need for the day (Pidgin, Thunderbird, Firefox, Eclipse, Tilda and screen)
# Checked my e-mail
# Approved some comments on this blog
# Wrote this blog post

Sounds a very tiring job ;)
You don’t need to install linux to do it.
You can do much more at work with linux.

Comment by Yasir

September 14, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

Agreed. I remembered that I powered my dad’s laptop which has vista as OS and my lappy is running mint. I had the opportunity to launch amsn, check mails before vista loads.

Comment by alaukik

September 16, 2010 @ 6:03 am

You can just use wine?

Comment by Linux tips

September 28, 2010 @ 1:51 am

Hey man you so need to get Cross Over office, I just work it out on my Linux system, and it can run MS Office 2007 without issue and Open Office also can open most MS Office formatted files without errors …

Comment by Unisif

September 29, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

Guys I have two laptops one for my office use and one for personal use. And I have installed Linux on my personal one and Windows 7 for the office one….but truly speaking I love Linux more than Windows….
I Just love to use Linux rocks

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